One year ago
John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. was
under fire after his flagship Advantage Plus fund dropped
21.42% in 2012, following a terrible 2011 in which the same
fund lost 52.48%. "Oh, the horror!" cried financial journalists
everywhere. Could this truly be the fate of the man who
orchestrated "The Greatest Trade Ever"?
But, by last January, some were tired of the dog and pony show. There
are plenty of other investors who managed more money in 2012
and did it better; why not pay them more heed?
A year later, the media circus has continued, but
Paulson & Co. is on much more favorable ground. All of the
firm’s funds recorded gains this
year—some whopping; the Paulson Recovery Fund ended
the year up 63%. The Paulson Advantage and Advantage Plus funds
generated returns of 33.5% and 32.38%, respectively. Even the
worst of the bunch, the event-driven Paulson Partners Fund,
beat our strategy benchmark, returning 18.4% compared to 14.51%
gains for the Absolute Return Event Driven Index.
Two of the firm’s funds—the
merger-arbitrage focused Paulson International and the
event-driven Paulson Recovery Fund—earned nominations
for the 2014 Absolute Return Awards, which are based on
risk-adjusted performance. Paulson & Co. was also nominated
as "Management Firm of the Year" based on the overall
risk-adjusted returns of its stable of funds. Winners will be
announced on February 13 in New York City (details here).
Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson & Co. at
public relations firm WalekPeppercomm, declined to comment.
Five years ago
Greenwich-based Duff Capital Advisors laid off about 80% of its 100-person staff,
adding to layoffs it had made in late 2008. The firm, which
launched near the onset of the financial crisis, had struggled
to raise capital despite founder Phil Duff’s
pedigree; he was previously the chief financial officer of
Morgan Stanley, the chief operating officer of Julian
Robertson’s Tiger Management, and had founded
FrontPoint Partners in 2001. Amid market turmoil, Duff Capital
closed its doors in May 2009, according to various news reports.
In 2011, Duff resurfaced to launch Massif Partners,
a multi-strategy hedge fund with the goal of building "the next generation asset management firm along the
model pioneered by Phil Duff."
Multiple attempts to reach Massif directly were
unsuccessful. A spokesman for Massif said the firm is still up
and running as a private investment firm.